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Featured Essential vs. Non-Essential Doctrine

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Humblesmith, Aug 1, 2022.

  1. Humblesmith

    Humblesmith Member

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    What would you consider essential vs non-essential doctrine? What categories can we agreeably disagree and what categories must we separate?
    We did a podcast session on this, which was published today. I'd welcome your thoughts and feedback.

    Episodes – Reasoning Through the Bible
     
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  2. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Well-Known Member
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    Examples

    Tier I. Doctrine of God, Salvation (Grace Alone, Faith Alone, Christ Alone), Trinity,

    Tier II. Baptism (Pedo vs Credo), Spiritual Gifts,

    Tier III. Church Government, when to meet, where to meet, Eschatology,

    Tier I are Non-Negotiables. The most important Doctrines of the Church

    Tier II are Not essential to the Christian Faith. Christian’s hold varying views of the Church, Baptism Operations of the Spirit etc.

    Tier III. Not really worth dividing over. There are various views that are tertiary in nature
     
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  3. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    All false doctrines are essential to be considered questionable, if not declared false. Otherwise we are vulnerable to "another gospel."

    Is the bible the inspired word of God? Yes
    Those that add or subtract from its message hinder Christ's ministry.

    Can the lost in their fallen state seek God and put their faith in Christ? Yes
    Those that deny this basic Christianity 101 doctrine lack an essential understanding of truth.

    Does God choose individuals for salvation through or by way of our credited faith? Yes
    Those that deny this basic Christianity 101 doctrine lack an essential understanding of truth.
     
  4. Batt4Christ

    Batt4Christ Member
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    This is a pretty loaded and subjective question, and also varies by whether you are referring to brother to brother fellowship, fellowship within the local church (membership), church-to-church (convention/association and cooperative ministry), denomination to denomination cooperation, etc..

    But I'll try to give my perspective.

    • Brother-to-brother fellowship (outside the local church): Generally, that we hold the same gospel, the same view of Jesus (Christology).
    • Church Membership/internal fellowship: Every church should have a formal "statement of faith" that includes all the non-negotiable, primary doctrines. The Bible, The Trinity, Basic view of redemption/soteriology, ordinances, etc.
    • Church-to-church (cooperative): Should be closely tied to the above statement of faith. "Churches" that have contradictory/conflicting views of Jesus and salvation, the Trinity, and the Bible have no solid footing to cooperate together in most situations. (The one obvious example of an exception I might could see - I have marched in state "March For Life" events which are primarily sponsored and organized by Roman Catholics with a dabble of ecumenical groups that I cannot think of many other issues I might walk with on).
    • Denomination to denomination: Denominational Statements of faith must be totally compatible.

    As to specific "Essential Doctrines" in a broader sense:
    • God - Eternally Existent, not created, Sovereign, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent, Trinitarian in nature, co-equal (Eternal Subordination of the Son is a heresy).
    • Jesus - 100% God and 100% man - born of a virgin, lived without sin, yet willingly gave His life to redeem His people (both Jew and Gentile, of every tribe, nation, and tongue/ethnos).
    • Mankind is, by nature, sinful - and all that we do is contaminated by that sin - thus the reason we cannot in any way earn or achieve our redemption. We must be changed by God, through the Holy Spirit, born-again from darkness to light, from death to life 100% by faith alone, by God's Grace.
    • Baptism is one of two ordinances given to the Church by Christ - and is the commanded public profession of faith and identity with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ (and is a necessary step to be joined with a local church).
    • The Lord's Supper - given as a remembrance (symbol and profession) of Christ's sacrifice for sinners. Neither of these two ordinances themselves possess any salvific power, but do serve as reminders OF God's actions to save sinners.
    Several other doctrinal points are very important to me personally, and maybe even more important in the context of the local church -

     
  5. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    I'm not sure there really is much essential doctrine other than the diety of Christ, the bodily incarnation, bodily death, and bodily resurrection of Christ and believers

    Trinity is not essential. Because even a Modalist believes those doctrines that are actually treaded asessential in scripture.
     
  6. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    I would agree with this list.
     
  7. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    Um....
     
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  8. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    You are gravely mistaken. God the Father, the Son of God and the Holy Spirit are different Persons. And they are the one and the same God.
     
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  9. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    That fabricated doctrine is not taught in scripture, And you people should stop pretending that it is
     
  10. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    Um, do you have any scriptures saying that your brand of trinity is essential?
    Didn't think so. Thanks
     
  11. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    What is fabricated? That there is only one God? That God the Father and the Son of God are different Persons? That the Holy Spirit is a Person? What is fabricated?
     
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  12. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Well-Known Member
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    Please tell that to the Council of Nicea and Augustine

    Christian’s were literally persecuted over this issue. As in dismembered
     
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  13. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Well-Known Member
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    BTW, denial of the Trinity is considered heretical

    now I know that will get me another PM from the Mods!! Hahaha
     
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  14. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    Is Jesus God?
     
  15. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    Oh, for crying out loud. Did you even read my 1st comment?
     
  16. JamesL

    JamesL Well-Known Member
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    Only by those who have been duped bt the heresy of Trinitarianism

    See how easy it is to level a charge? ✌️✌️
     
  17. Marooncat79

    Marooncat79 Well-Known Member
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    What about Trinitarianism do you consider false teaching?
     
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  18. Reformed1689

    Reformed1689 Well-Known Member

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    So which part of the Trinity is not God?
     
  19. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    The doctrine of the Trinity is not essential (if by essential we mean essential to salvation). For a long time Christians did not have a worked out doctrine of the Trinity. It would be a mistake to consider them false converts.

    The gospel is essential. I am not sure what else would be entailed in the gospel. Certainly the divinity of Christ and God's kingdom as a present reality. Certainly the death and resurrection of Christ. We all have a natural knowledge of sin, but I think a knowledge that Christ died for our sins is necessary, and that God vindicated His Son and gave all judgment to Him.

    Important but not essential doctrines would include open vs closed communion and modes of baptism. These would be worth segragation so as not to cause strife. I would not go so far as to say division.

    In the end, it is not for us to judge the servants of Another. He will make them stand. But the gospel itself defines the master the servant serves.
     
  20. JesusFan

    JesusFan Well-Known Member

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    Apart from the working of the Holy Spirt in their lives though, none will seek God, much less discern the bible!
     
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